Monday, February 23, 2015

Coach Women Fall 2015

By now you've all been inundated with thousands of images from Fall 2015 NYFW so I thought I'd give you a little insider info on how the knitwear for the collection came together rather than just reposting pics.

Remember I mentioned there was a DHL package that got lost en route to London for the Men's Fall 2015 show? Well the fringe flag intarsia sweater was in that package and originally intended for the guys!  The flag was hand knit as a separate intarsia panel in a chunky yarn.  The body was 5gg jersey machine knit.  We cut a big rectangle out of the body and patched the flag behind the opening with a regular sewing machine.  We then cut into the overlapping seam allowance to destroy and fringe the excess plus added more shaggy fringe in mohair and wool along the side and at the cuffs by hand.  Some leather whipstitching around the shoulders, neck and flag and...Voila!  The boyfriend sweater is given a new life!

We used a wool/mohair blend yarn from Igea for the Rip and Repair crew neck.  The body was knit in a 1/3 milano stitch and the sleeves were in loose tension jersey.  The patches are a combination of different leathers and shearling  Some hand fringe and leather whipstitching were added to align with the overall theme of the collection.

Oh the Arans!  We started by buying tons of old, cheap Aran sweaters in coarse wools, strange sizes, and a variety of stitch layouts.  We de-linked panels and strategically draped them together utilizing cast-off edges and stitches to create interesting seam lines and stitch combinations.  The final sweater was hand knit in a chunky wool/polyamide blend from New Mill and hand fringed all over.  Rib trims were machine knit and linked on top to add texture.  The picture doesn't really do the piece justice.  The Aran bandana was a request by our stylist to riff on all the bandanas used in the show (if you look at the full collection you'll notice that every girl is wearing one around her neck.) 

The Aran dress was designed and hand knit in less that 5 days!  It was a nail biter until the last minute.  The big floppy cables that wrap around the body were newly knit and we used some panels from earlier versions of the above crew neck and attached them in the spaces to create this amazingly unique piece.  All the panels are linked outside.  We were stitching this together and applying fringe until 2 in the morning!  Our hand knitter Claire is a master and deserves heaps of praise.

There were several of the furry color block pieces used as layering pieces in addition to this dress.  The group was knit in a chunky mohair/wool blend also from Igea.  The stitch direction on the front body panels is horizontal.  The center-front is seam is mitred as a cut/sew knit to create the angle.

In Fall 2014 we showed the Apollo Sweater which ended up being a huge success.  Quirky intarsias are something we plan on featuring in every collection so the Lightening Bolt and Skull sweaters are this season's versions.  The white tipping was added after we received the finished sweaters from our factory in China!

The skull sweater was nice when it came in but it needed a little something-something more. Fortunately we had dupes.  I took one of the extras and cut out the intarsia (I backed it first with fusible to prevent it from fraying and falling apart) then mounted it on the leather platform, hand-tacked the whole thing to the body, and applied the leather whipstitching around the side and cuffs to give it more dimension.  Definitely not a typical intarsia sweater!

All pictures courtesy of and

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015


What exactly is a Tabard?  My boss once used this term to describe a pretty ratty, vintage sweater we were trying on our model.  I was curious so I googled.  Tabards seemed to have made their first appearance in the Middle Ages as a sleeveless vest-type-thing; essentially a front and back panel with a hole for the head.  Sometimes referred to as a "jerkin," it was worn by peasants, clerics, and eventually zhushed-up with a coat of arms so knights could wear it over their armor.

It has evolved today into what can most commonly, and banally, be referred to as a "vest."  The last image shows another modern adaptation with open sides but also with the added benefit of sleeves.

Kenzo Pre-Fall 2015
Kenzo Pre-Fall 2015